Allium cristophii

Family: Alliaceae

Countries: Asia, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Turkey, Turkmenistan

Allium cristophii is a superb species of Allium that can be seen growing as a wildflower in Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Iran.  If you’re looking for plants to provide pollen and nectar for insects, you’ll be happy to hear that Allium cristophii flowers attract a wide range of bees and other pollinating insects, and this Allium species simply thrives in the UK!

From mid to late spring until mid-summer, Allium cristophii produces large, globular flower heads held on short stems that reach up to 50cm (20inches) tall.  The flowers are so large and Allium cristophii flower stems are fairly short, so the blooms appear not far off the ground.   Each umbel radiates many silver-lilac coloured, star-shaped flowers that display an enchanting iridescence in the sunlight.  At different times of the day Allium cristophii flowers can appear more pink or lilac coloured; while in bright sunshine, the same blooms take on a silver hue and positively gleam in the sunlight.

A superb plant for wildlife gardens; Allium cristophii flowers are a magnet for bees and other pollinating insects.  Their blooms are pretty resilient; they develop into long-lasting seed heads that are useful for floristry, arts and crafts.

These Alliums will grow happily with other plants, but don’t swamp them; avoid planting Allium cristophii close to plants that develop bushy growth during springtime – you don’t want your Allium cristophii flowers to be submerged inside your spring planting!  Allium cristophii will grow up to around 50cm (20inches) in height, sometimes a little taller.

Plant Allium cristophii bulbs from late summer to autumn.  Allium cristophii thrives in bright sunshine and this Allium will also be happy growing in light shade or partial shade.  Plant in any well-drained soil.  Allium cristophii can also be planted in containers of peat-free compost.

This is not a plant for shaded areas; please note that Allium cristophii will not succeed in wet or water-logged soils.

Allium cristophii was named after Christopher Lloyd; it’s sometimes known by its common name, the Star of Persia.

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